Friday, 18 April 2014

Lost image - 21 August 2013

My wife and I stayed at my parents' house last week. I had to make an overnight business trip and when I returned my parents said they had taken my wife to a restaurant she had never visited.

I had been to the same place once before, last year. Normally these days I would be able to give the date of such an event and relate the circumstances, but I drew a blank. I knew the name and that I had been, but could not remember when: it had not featured in any of my reviews of the images pinned to my mental calendar and so was faded, vague and floating free.

Worse than this, I remembered that after visiting I had decided to include the restaurant in my memory tag for the day. Somehow it had been replaced by something else. Sometimes I have more than one image pinned to a day, but I usually sense if I am not remembering them all in a review.

In this case something had gone wrong: I hadn't thought about visiting this restaurant for many months.

I did know it was while my wife was visiting relatives in her own country last year, so decided to go through all the dates she was away when I was visiting my parents. There were three blocks of time, but I could not say which of these was the one so went through them all.

Going through day-by-day recalling the images, I found the memory in the third block.

On Tuesday August 20, I went to the running club I sometimes attend while home. On Wednesday I had a vague tag about going for a solo run with aching legs after the training session the day before. I realised this was the day I had visited the restaurant and this had been my original memory tag – it suddenly hit me that the name of one of the runners in my tag for the Tuesday – Charles – had been my prompt for remembering the name of the restaurant - Carlo's.

But there was more that proved to me this was the day. We went to the restaurant after a reconnaissance mission to the hospital where my mother was due to attend a memory clinic for assessment of the deterioration of her short-term memory. My memory tag for the following day - solidly pinned to my mental calendar and present in my reviews - was the outcome of that visit.

Now the visit to the restaurant is restored to its correct place on my mental calendar, thanks to the surrounding clues.

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